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letters to the editor

People ages 50 to 75 urged to take the time to get checked for colorectal cancer

Posted 31 March 2019 at 3:44 pm


March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, so on behalf of the Cancer Services Program of Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming and Niagara County, I’d like to share some valuable information and clear up a few myths about colon cancer.

All men and women ages 50 to 75 years old should be screened regularly for colorectal cancer (also known as colon cancer). Colon cancer is preventable through screening and is highly curable if found early. Despite this, it is still the second leading cause of cancer-related death in men and women in New York State.

Why? Because many people avoid getting screened or don’t have the information they need to make this potentially life-saving decision.

Some people believe that if they don’t have a family history of colon cancer, screening isn’t needed. This is not true. Most people diagnosed with colon cancer do not have a family history.

Others think that screening is only needed if they have symptoms such as blood in their stool. However, many cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed in people who do not have symptoms, which is why getting tested is so important.

Another misunderstanding is that the tests are painful and the preparation is unpleasant. The truth is there are several tests to choose from, including stool-based tests that are easy, painless, and can be done at home.

Many people think that screening is expensive. Not so. Health insurance plans in New York State are required to cover colon cancer screening. And for those who are uninsured, our program provides free screening to men and women age 50 and older.

So, why take a chance with colon cancer? Ask your doctor if it’s time for you to be tested, or you can contact our program for help or information.

Jessica Downey

Health Education & Community Outreach

Cancer Services Program of GOWN

Holley-Kendall wrestling program appreciates community support

Posted 29 March 2019 at 8:56 am


The Holley-Kendall wrestling team and coaching staff would like to thank the many people and organizations that helped organize and contributed to the growth and success of the Holley-Kendall Wrestling program throughout the wrestling season.

Several events were conducted and without their help, assistance and support, these events would not have been successful. The following events took place where many volunteers were needed: Holley-Kendall Wrestling Tournament, Youth Wrestling Club, Junior Wrestling Club, Gold Force Wrestling Club Open Mats, and the Holley-Kendall Wrestling Banquet.

All your contributions, generosity, assistance and efforts did not go unnoticed.  Your loyalty and dedication to the wrestling program is the main reason why programs and student athletes achieve success.

Thank you once again!


John J. Grillo

Head Wrestling Coach

Ill-advised Gun Raffle Bill would hurt volunteer fire departments, community organizations

Posted 27 March 2019 at 7:30 am


When it comes to carving away at Second Amendment rights in Albany, there is always a multitude of consequences that, unfortunately, are often not considered by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who introduce these measures. That is certainly the case for legislation that would prohibit firearms from being awarded as prizes in charity raffles.

Currently, if a gun is included as a prize in a charity raffle, the raffle must adhere to the same safeguards and legal requirements of any gun purchase or transfer of ownership. In fact, here in Western New York some raffles bring an on-site dealer who is capable of providing the legally-required background checks before any guns are awarded. The system is safe.

These types of raffles help support not-for-profit charities, like conservation clubs or veterans posts, which do so much good in our entire community. They bring awareness of the organization to the community-at-large, encourage membership, and support the organization’s projects – projects like new park benches, playgrounds, and much more.

Furthermore, these raffles support those that keep us safe, like volunteer fire companies. As a strong supporter of our volunteer firefighters, I can tell you how hard they work night and day to protect our loved ones and property. As volunteers, they save taxpayers millions of dollars annually. Yet, on top of volunteering their time, energy and often their own money on training, gear, recruitment, community events, fire prevention education, emergency response, and manning the station in the event of a fire, they must still find the time and effort to fundraise in order to keep the fire stations in order and up to code.

This legislation would negatively impact so many community organizations, but it would have a devastating effect on our volunteer fire companies. Please know that should this bill come to a vote, I will vote against it and continue to advocate for measures to support the people who volunteer to make our community a better, safer and happier place to call home.

State Assemblyman Michael Norris


(Norris represents the 144th Assembly District which includes portions of Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties.)

Barre should seek full taxation for turbines, not a PILOT

Posted 26 March 2019 at 7:27 am


The residents of Barre need to know that Heritage Wind, AKA, Apex, would like the town of Barre to agree to a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program.

This is unsettling because a PILOT program is only supposed to be offered to a company when their project brings new, permanent jobs. But to the best of our knowledge, Industrial Wind Turbines operate autonomously and do *not* create any permanent jobs.

So how can a PILOT program be legal for this situation?

And even if it were legal, which it isn’t, it isn’t the best deal for Barre anyway. The county, the schools and the fire department would all get a cut of the PILOT funds before Barre, where the turbines are actually being built, would get anything.

Furthermore, Mr. Editor, common sense dictates that if Payment In Lieu of Taxes were more expensive than being taxed, then they would just accept the taxes. So the obvious result of a PILOT program this is that *less* money is being divided up amongst *more* parties.

But if the windmills are properly taxed, then the situation changes. Tax funds would go to the town where the turbines are actually put up. If the town is taking in tax revenue from the turbines, then they won’t need so much tax revenue from the people. Simple, isn’t it?

Any turbines built in the Town of Barre should be working *for* the Town of Barre.


Webster Tilton,

Spokesman, Citizens for a Better Barre

Keep Civil War flag, unless it goes where it can be enjoyed by larger audience

Posted 21 March 2019 at 7:49 am


For some reason – history, fate, God – we were entrusted with a flag celebrating the courageous contributions of Black citizens against traitors and tyrants.

The only justification to abandon this duty would be if we could find a place where more people can appreciate the bravery and message it carries.

Short of that there are no good reasons for cutting and running from our responsibility that are not shameful.

Conrad F. Cropsey


Sale of Civil War flag is a loss for the community

Posted 16 March 2019 at 9:17 am


I wish I had known about the Civil War flag at the Hoag Library before this week. As a history enthusiast and trustee of the Orleans Historical Association, I would have worked toward an effort to retain it locally. I was very disappointed to learn the trustees of Hoag Library in Albion voted 5-0 to sell this Orleans County artifact.

This flag was carried by the 26th Regiment United States Colored Troops. Somehow it was placed in the Roswell Burroughs building which later became the Swan Library. There is evidence that a local Civil War soldier, Charles H. Mattison of Barre, may have been responsible for the flag’s eventual storage at the old Swan Library in Albion.

I am no stranger to the cost of historical preservation and restoration, having been fortunate to have had the support of local history devotees as we preserved and restored the oldest cobblestone building in Orleans County, namely the Gaines District #2 Schoolhouse on Gaines Basin Road. There are local experts who know how to apply for preservation grants. They are more than willing to share their knowledge and provide guidance. We have tapped them for the cobblestone schoolhouse project.

I understand Hoag Library tried to get some other places outside of the area to take responsibility for it, to no avail. Unfortunately, they did the short-sited, conservative, easy thing and voted to sell it. As trustee Linda Weller asked, “Is it the library’s job to pay the money to have it restored?” My response to this question is pure and simple: “This is how we lose our history. This is why we destroy rather than preserve and educate.”

We are caught up in the short-sighted philosophy that money outweighs all. And once again, Albion and Orleans County loses a part of its past that has remained in the library’s care for over 100 years. And it’s my understanding, Hoag Library doesn’t need the money!

Roswell Burroughs, the builder and owner of the building that became the old Swan Library (where the flag was found) once gave a wonderful oratory in Albion commemorating the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and its devastating impact on Orleans County and Albion. Could this flag have been linked to him? He still owned the building when Lincoln died. Could this flag have been a gift?

Orleans County Historian Matt Ballard and Civil War enthusiast Tom Tabor have done some work researching this flag, and more can be done. Rather than ask short-sited questions like “why spend the money,” we should be asking “what are we giving up.” I understand that if the flag doesn’t fetch $10k or more, we can get it back.

Al Capurso


Family Councils strive for better care at nursing homes

Posted 15 March 2019 at 11:51 am


Involvement of families and representatives of residents in nursing homes is imperative. As the Family  Council for the Villages of Orleans Health & Rehabilitation Center, we unite to communicate concerns to the facility administrators to work for resolutions and improvements.

Federal law and regulations provide families and representatives of residents powerful rights relating to a family council. These regulations apply to all nursing homes that receive Medicare and/or Medicaid funds.

One of our objectives as a Family Council is to educate  families and representatives of their rights. One of the first steps regarding the Family Council is whenever a new resident is admitted to a facility, the facility must inform them if a Family Council exists and information on place, time and contact information.

Families and representatives of a resident have the right to meet with the families of other residents in the facility. When a family group exists, the facility must listen to the views and act upon the grievances and recommendations of residents and families concerning proposed policy and operational decisions affecting resident care and life in the facility.

In order for positive change to happen for our residents, we must advocate for them. On April 3 at 6 p.m., the Family Council will be meeting at the Hoag Library in Albion. If you have family in another facility and want to know how to form a family council, join us and we will share our process with you.

As the Family Council of The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center, we strive to improve the quality of care and quality of life of all the residents who live in this facility.

Kelly Bentley


Chairperson of Family Council

Constitutional sheriff is last bastion to protect people from overreaching government

Posted 14 March 2019 at 5:46 pm


In his letter posted March 1, Mr. Tom Graham brought up some interesting questions. I recommend that the reader review the letter to refresh the memory; I will try to answer Mr. Graham point by point.

*The Constitution does not allow any one branch to usurp the power of another; however, there is a clear balance between them. At the Federal level, the judiciary was intended to interpret the laws and determine if they followed the Constitution, not to legislate from the bench. An excellent article that explains the original function of the three branches of government is found by clicking here.

The founders declared that the states were responsible to nullify unConstitutional laws against their people, and that the judiciary should not be in authority over the states. Considering the states have abdicated their responsibilities to the people, it falls on the local governments to do so. And in their ineptitude, the sheriff is the last bastion of the people.

*Your deputization would depend on your sheriff’s need for help. It does not give you the right to pick and choose laws to follow. It does put you into subjection to your superior who has an eye on the Constitution and laws that go against it. For example, jaywalking is not a Constitutional right. Speeding is not a Constitutional right. Stealing is not. Freedom of speech is. Freedom from unlawful search and seizure (warrant-less searches and civil asset “forfeiture”) is protected. The right to defend oneself and one’s property is protected. Trial by jury is. Your sheriff might decide that he will not practice civil asset forfeiture, or not restrict gun rights, and you as the deputy would have to follow that…or quit. The responsibility would not be on you because you were hired; the burden is on the sheriff who was elected by the people and answers only to them.

*Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association continues to say, “As an elected official he/she is the ultimate protector of the people providing a check and balance locally for any state or federal agency that may infringe the constitutional rights of the people.”

*I refer you to my previous letter and the links to the sheriff’s honor roll, as well as other sheriffs who interposed themselves between the people and oppressive state or federal agencies. They are protectors of the Constitution to which they gave an oath and not to code and law enforcement only.

*I don’t believe I ever said that law enforcement was exempt from any laws that are enforced on the people. In fact, they should be held to a higher standard. That they are not always shows the disdain for the liberty and equality that our founding fathers bestowed upon us, and proves that they are breaking the oath that they took.

Judy Larkin


Lyndonville resident urges support for 2 candidates in village election

Posted 14 March 2019 at 5:40 pm


Next Tuesday the Village of Lyndonville is holding elections for two trustees. I am endorsing one incumbent, Darren Wilson, and the challenger, Kim Kenyon.

The other incumbent has not demonstrated a desire to serve the residents. In 2018 she attended but five regular meetings and contributed little to fulfilling her duties. That level of inactivity is akin to a no-show job. Then why run for the position again?

We elect our neighbors to these positions to run the village according to established rules and regulations and to spend our tax dollars wisely. In the last three years I have seen scant evidence of that.

James Tuk


Apex should abandon plans for Lighthouse Wind

Posted 12 March 2019 at 6:52 pm


Many of us from the townships of Somerset and Yates were heartened by the news that Apex “Clean Energy” had withdrawn its application to construct a 108-megawatt, 30-turbine industrial wind turbine complex on Galloo Island, at the eastern end of Lake Ontario.

Public concern and involvement did stop an ill-cited major industrial wind turbine project. The Galloo project has fluctuated through several variations over the last 12 years. The withdrawal has come, unfortunately, with the caveat that Apex is “open to initiating the project (again) when the time is right.” When does no really mean NO!

When does the bullying and harassment of a small rural community by huge billion-dollar companies stop!

Lighthouse Wind, like Galloo, is the wrong project in the wrong place. More than 5 years have passed since Apex ”Clean Energy” solicited their first secretive 49-year leases in the Town of Somerset. The citizens of Somerset and Yates have in that time period educated themselves about the alleged benefits and potential hazards and negatives of an industrial wind turbine project.

It has been overwhelmingly concluded after three independent surveys, countless public meetings, public hearings and an Apex forum, that residents feel the risks are far too great and the benefits are nil.

There are better ways to “save the Planet and protect our children and grandchildren” than cluttering up the landscape with huge grotesque structures that threaten the health, welfare and lifestyle of residents.

Mothers Up Front should make note of the following: The Nature Conservancy, a widely respected environmental organization, has concluded that “conserving and restoring forests, grasslands and wetlands can deliver up to 37 percent of the emissions reductions needed to curb the climate change predicted by 2030.”

We are blessed with those features in our area. Preserving and enhancing the growth and preservation of forests, grasslands and wetlands has been public policy for years dating in Somerset, back to the original Comprehensive Plan of 1972.

Local ordinances of both towns have codified this policy. We in Somerset and Yates are well aligned with those who desire a “cleaner, healthier Earth.” The proposed Lighthouse Wind project is in direct conflict with this and is in violation of Town Law. Ignoring this, Apex “Clean Energy” continues to bully our community in the hope that the Article 10 Siting Board will disregard long-standing policy and current law and approve Lighthouse Wind.

Tragically, organizations that could support this open space policy have recently bought in to supporting Lighthouse Wind. Specifically, the Sierra Club and the Adirondack Mountain Club have endorsed Lighthouse Wind. These organizations have strayed far from their original roots and have lost their way and damaged their creditability.

Perhaps it is because the vast majority of the membership will never live among industrial wind turbines and is therefore content to  clutter someone else’s backyard. The NIMBY movement is alive and well among the supporters of Lighthouse Wind.

It is time for Apex “Clean Energy” to reassess the risks and rewards associated with the development of Lighthouse Wind as they have done for the Galloo Island project and terminate all effort.

James C. Hoffman